Connecticut's governor said he's taking action to bar potential terrorists from gaining access to weapons in the state.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said a news conference on Thursday that he is "seizing this moment."
"Congress has failed to act, so in Connecticut we shall act," Malloy said. "If you can not fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to buy a weapon."
Malloy said the executive order would focus on those listed on various watch lists. It would add an additional layer of protection to what's done now in terms of background checks.
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"We are working with federal authorities to gain access to these lists," Malloy said. "Whether it be a no-fly list or some combination of people who should not have weapons."
Malloy said that it "is incumbent of government to protect its citizens."
We're taking common sense steps in #CT to close the loophole and allow firearm permits to be denied to those on gov't watch lists— Governor Dan Malloy (@GovMalloyOffice) December 10, 2015
The news conference happened outside of the governor's office at the state capitol on Capitol Avenue in Hartford.
It's since garnered some reaction from lawmakers.
I applaud @GovMalloyOffice for taking clear, commonsense action to keep guns away from dangerous individuals & keep CT communities safe.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 10, 2015
But, Blumenthal was not alone in his praise of Malloy's decision.
.@GovMalloyOffice rightly takes action to close gun loophole for those on no-fly list. Time for Congress to follow Connecticut's leadership— Rep. Joe Courtney (@RepJoeCourtney) December 10, 2015
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which is a group that advocates for second amendment rights, reacted to Malloy’s announcement.
"Malloy is planning to take what is in our view unconstitutional executive action that would prohibit firearms purchases and seize firearms of individuals who have not been indicted or convicted for any crime. While we are all concerned about terrorism, this approach is very un-American and shameful,” CCDL President Scott Wilson said in a statement on Thursday.
Wilson went on to say that “Malloy has gone even further into the deep end than ever before" and added that he has not ruled out taking legal action to stop the order.
“His planning on denying purchases and likely seizing firearms of individuals are on a list that have not been charged or convicted of any wrongdoing is antithetical to every value that this country was founded on. There are millions of people on these lists, many who are not criminals or terrorists, and do not belong on it,” Wilson said.
The announcement comes after the FBI learned that a radicalized couple was responsible for a mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA that left 14 people dead.
It's also four days shy of the day 26 students and staff were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.
To read the full statement from CCDL, click here.
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